The Guardian • Issue #2052

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2052
Global briefs

CUBA: More than 10 million people became literate thanks to the Cuban program “Yes, I can.” The program was Fidel Castro’s initiative that helped to overcome illiteracy in 32 countries. The program is designed to teach reading and writing, especially in Latin America but can be rapidly adapted to different social realities and languages. Established in 2003 it is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 73 million young people and adults do not have basic literacy skills, and more than 617 million children and adolescents do not reach the minimum levels of competence in reading and mathematics.

JAMAICA: The Jamaican government is to hold a referendum next year to become independent of the British monarchy and have its own head of state. “The time has come. Jamaica is in Jamaica’s hands. We have to do it, especially with the transition in the monarchy. My government says we have to do it now,” Jamaican Minister for Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte, said. “While the United Kingdom celebrates the coronation of the King, that is for the Kingdom,” she added. Jamaica intends to draft a new constitution and hold an urgent referendum on self-determination. Malahoo Forte pointed out that the monarchy and the racist policies of the British government foster republican sentiment in the country. London has never apologised or offered reparations for its slave-owning colonial past.

SYRIA: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi paid a two-day visit to Syria. He was the first Iranian president to visit Syria after the outbreak of war in 2011. “Syria’s government and people have come through tremendous hardships, and today we can say that you have weathered and overcome all these problems and achieved victory despite the threats and sanctions imposed against you,” Raisi said. During the meeting Assad and Raisi signed memoranda of understanding for “long-term and comprehensive cooperation” in various fields, mainly in oil, communications, civil aviation, railways, and agriculture.

CHILE: About 15 million Chileans voted at the weekend to select the 51 members of the Constitutional Council that will draft a new proposal for a constitution, after a majority of 68 to 38 per cent voted to reject the first proposal for a new and radical constitution in September 2022. The Right and Extreme Right in Chile obtained the majority of seats for the drafting of the new Chilean Constitution. Parties and sectors allied to Boric’s government remain in second place. The outcome of the vote is a major defeat for the centre-left presidency of Gabriel Boric. Additionally, the voting is widely perceived as a referendum on the current administration, with its 30 per cent rate of approval. The left-leaning coalitions will be unable to veto proposals or compel mutual agreement on specific matters in the constitution.

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